You forgot to set your alarm and you wake up at 11 a.m. Your job started at 9 a.m. What is your reaction?
At this point, you’re probably panicking and extremely worried about whether you’re going to lose your job, be put on probation or just be plain yelled at.
Some situations are natural to worry about, but you also need to realize that at times there is not much you can do, and that’s where you learn to accept the circumstances, move on and do better next time.
When I was younger, I worried constantly at night before I went to bed about various school-related matters, and my father always told me that there was nothing I could do about it at the moment so I should stop worrying and just go to sleep.
Easier said than done. If only I had grasped the concept and put it into practice throughout my whole life. Fortunately, I am more enlightened now because of awareness, experience, knowledge and effort.
Learning to rid yourself of unnecessary worry can be difficult, especially for women. Try Googling “women, worry” and “men, worry.” At least for me, it seems like more information is available about women worrying. For women, there were articles about women worrying in general and over body issues, and for men it was mainly about body issues, like penis size.
Women’s body issues has always been a major discussion, and it’s assumed those issues also apply to men, but one recent study featured on LiveScience found that “women who have a normal perception of body image based on psychological screening tests still have brain scans that reveal they are concerned about getting fat.”
“The pattern of brain activity is similar, though not as strong, as that seen in women with eating disorders such as anorexia,” according to the article. “On the other hand, brain scans of men included didn't show any indication that they were concerned about body image.”
It proposes that social pressures to be thin are causing the results.
Another interesting finding is that the reason women worry so much is that they “are more likely than men to believe that past experiences accurately forecast the future,” according to a LiveScience article.
Although women are twice as likely as men to have an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, and anxiety is related to worry (and we know how harmful anxiety can be to women's health), there is some hope.
There are ways you can help yourself, and one book, “Women Who Worry Too Much,” by Holly Hazlett-Stevens, offers the solution of figuring out whether you are actually problem solving or just plain worrying.
She makes a distinction between the two by regarding worrying as when there is a “vague problem,” “no specific solutions,” the “issue remains unresolved” and “thinking ahead leads to anxiety.”
However, problem solving is when there is a “concrete problem,” “possible solutions,” the problem is “resolved after weighing choices” and “thinking ahead leads to action.”
In my opinion, some worry and anxiety can be overcome by just being prepared. For example, if you’re worried about not getting to work on time, make sure you get to bed at a decent hour and set multiple alarms. Have a friend call you in the morning if necessary.
For tests, prepare in advance, and if you’re worried because you didn’t do that, realize that one bad test generally won’t kill you, and you’ll most likely have another chance to prove yourself.
A Psychology Today article also gave some other tips, including keeping active in order to avoid overthinking and obsessing over whatever you’re worried about. Talking to others about your anxiety and releasing tension that way can also be helpful. For more resources, look at the links below.